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Posted at 4:05 PM ET, 02/22/2011

Is the Obama administration soft on Gaddafi?

By Jackson Diehl

For the Obama administration, Libya ought to be the easy case in the Middle East's turmoil. Dictator Moammar Gaddafi, aptly labeled a "mad dog" by Ronald Reagan 25 years ago, is no friend of the United States, unlike Egypt's Hosni Mubarak. And he has launched a shocking war against his own people, killing at least hundreds and probably thousands in attacks by warplanes and foreign mercenaries. On Tuesday he gave a bloodcurdling speech in which he vowed to fight to the last drop of blood and cited the Tiananmen square massacre as an example.

Yet the administration so far has declined to directly condemn Gaddafi, call for his ouster, or threaten sanctions. Instead, it has repeated the same bland language about restraint and "universal rights" that it has used to respond to the uprisings in Egypt, Bahrain, and other countries with pro-U.S. regimes.

Hours after Gaddafi spoke on Tuesday, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley was asked at his regular briefing for reporters about the dictator's demented vow "to stay and to die a martyr and never give up."

"Again, you know, this ultimately and fundamentally an issue between, you know, the Libyan government, its leader, and the Libyan people," Crowley replied. Noting that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had expressed "grave concerns about the Libyan response to these protesters," he added, "We want to see universal rights respected and we want to see the government respond to the aspirations of its people."

Really? Given that massacres on the scale of Tiananmen may well be taking place in Tripoli and other cities, this response was flabbergasting. Does the United States really believe that crimes against humanity are "an issue between the Libyan government...and the Libyan people?" Does it seriously believe that Gaddafi will respond to "the aspiration of [the] people" after his chilling rant?

Reporters at the State Department were quick to ask these questions. "P.J., this is essentially, you know, a bloodbath that is going on there," came the first. "And it seems when you were talking about this that it's a very calm approach...Is there a sense of urgency?"

"Of course," Crowley replied. But then he said that the U.S. response would come through the U.N. Security Council, which is meeting Tuesday afternoon -- and where Russia and China are likely to oppose meaningful action.

Question: "P.J., how can you frame the debate as it's internal things between the Libyan people and government when some reports talked about thousands of people dead...Isn't surely the responsibility of the United States to stand up against thousands of people killed?"

Crowley: "Well, and the secretary of state said, you know, very clearly and very compellingly in her statement yesterday that the bloodshed needs to stop." She did not, however, threaten sanctions, call for Gaddafi's departure or even directly blame him for the killing.

Question: "Well, P.J., part of the problem is that here you've been talking about...how this has to be resolved through an internal debate in Libya. You want to see the government engage the protesters. And the problem with that is that the debate so far has been anti-aircraft guns and bullets and, you know, fighter jets bombing the people. That's the government side of the debate."

All too true. Crowley's answer: "We are going to respond as an international community. We'll have a response through the Security Council."

What could explain this weak response? Is the administration worried about U.S. energy companies that recently began operating in Libya, or the safety of American citizens it is now seeking to evacuate? Does it imagine that it needs to preserve a relationship with Gaddafi, in case he kills enough of his people to survive?

Whatever the reason, the administration's response to the Libyan bloodshed lacks a sense of morality as well as common sense. If Gaddafi continues to strafe and slaughter civilians in the streets of Tripoli, Crowley's words could come back to haunt him.

UPDATE: Clinton said later Tuesday that the safety of U.S. citizens in Libya, including embassy employees awaiting evacuation, is the "highest priority" for the Obama administration--which, as I suggested above, may explain the mild rhetoric so far. "Now, as always, the safety and wellbeing of Americans has to be our highest priority," Clinton told reporters at the State Department in Washington. She added that the U.S. joins the international community in "strongly condemning" the crackdown.

By Jackson Diehl  | February 22, 2011; 4:05 PM ET
Categories:  Diehl  | Tags:  Jackson Diehl  
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Comments

Not soft.

pure incompetence.

They're still reviewing the poll numbers since the last time obama demanded that someone leave power.

Posted by: docwhocuts | February 22, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

It would be disastrous for world economies if the Arab poor were allowed a greater share of oil profits. Once given a piece of the pie they would want it all. Auto owners could not afford to pay the higher fuel prices. Millions of abandoned vehicles would litter the streets.

Posted by: morristhewise | February 22, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Could it be the *ahem* Muslim connection?

Posted by: peopleofearthattention | February 22, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Could it be the *ahem* Muslim connection?

Posted by: peopleofearthattention | February 22, 2011 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Soft? No. Political Hacks? Yes. And dysfunctional, as well.

Posted by: JAH3 | February 22, 2011 4:41 PM | Report abuse

How does the Free World benefit from all this? Egypt went to the Brotherhood which is Alquieda itself. Other Arab countries are also going the same way. Of what use is it to have Irans everywhere?

Posted by: rsajan | February 22, 2011 4:42 PM | Report abuse

although i believe obama to be talentless,other than public speaking, an ameoba , there isn't a leader in american history who could make other than sounds with his mouth ,in this situation. put americans in harms way to oust this nut,or any other muslim/arab nut isn't in the cards now. we need to get out of the middle east and when we leave give a warning. if we get attacked again by you wacko's trying to set up your califate we will destroy your country. no boots on the ground,no helping out ''moderates'. you will be gone.start drilling for our own oil and gas. in the last year we have cornered the ability to get huge amounts of both out of the ground. get rid of the dems in 2012.

Posted by: 12thgenamerican | February 22, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Great article. Obama mans the ramparts to demand that Mubarek leaves but is strangely mute about the brutality in Libyia and Iran. You can just imagine the confusion behind the draperies where team obama scurries around with one finger in the wind and one up their posteriors trying to decide what to do. His incompetence is manifesting itself daily. Interfering in WI. Suing AZ. Treating friends miserably (Britian, Egypt, Israel) bowing before thugs. Obama is far worse than Jimmy Carter. Far worse and causing far more damage to America. He needs to resign or he needs to be impeached. Its hard to see how the nation can take two more years of this fool.

Posted by: jkk1943 | February 22, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

what good does an Obama Administration condemnation do?

Will Qadaffi step down once he's referred to as a tyrant by the US government?

Any words Obama can say are ultimately empty because America is unwilling to forcefully punish Qadaffi, and not without good reason.

There is no point in an American leader being bombastic over events which he has no control over.

Posted by: j762 | February 22, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't this the same nonsense you guys were writing as Mubarak was going down? Maybe the President behaves intelligently by working quietly to achieve things. Maybe he understands that "we're going to get him dead or alive" and "mission accomplished" public chest beating is ultimately unproductive and unhelpful.

If the President made a public speech demanding Qaddafi go would that really help the situation?

Posted by: DatMel | February 22, 2011 4:48 PM | Report abuse

By being soft, they can come back after the protests are over and say that the president and Clinton spoke out against Gaddafi. You know, like with Egypt?
I believe during the presidential elections it was well known that Obama did not have a good foreign relations back ground. Not that I voted for him, but what do you expect? He cannot be forceful so he and his staff waffle and spout rhetoric until the situation resolves itself or until his hand is forced.

Posted by: hebe1 | February 22, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

President Obama votes "present".

Posted by: jdonner2 | February 22, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

"Great article. Obama mans the ramparts to demand that Mubarek leaves but is strangely mute about the brutality in Libyia and Iran. You can just imagine the confusion behind the draperies where team obama scurries around with one finger in the wind and one up their posteriors trying to decide what to do. His incompetence is manifesting itself daily. Interfering in WI. Suing AZ. Treating friends miserably (Britian, Egypt, Israel) bowing before thugs. Obama is far worse than Jimmy Carter. Far worse and causing far more damage to America. He needs to resign or he needs to be impeached. Its hard to see how the nation can take two more years of this fool.

Posted by: jkk1943 "

Non-interference in Iranian politics is an American treaty obligation, and it is the only way to make any sort of progress on the nuclear issue there. Refusing dialogue with them do nothing. Attacking them will make them sure to decide to make the jump from latent weapons capability to arsenal development. Moreover, the US has very little leverage over Iran in the first place. Empty bombastic rhetoric does nothing except stroke the collective American ego while causing significant damage to the abilities of our administration to carry out its foreign policy objectives.

I don't understand why the President is required to express a strong opinion on this issue while he is forbidden from expressing one on matters in Wisconsin. Moreover, his justice department is fully entitled to sue a state for encroaching on federal authority.

What thugs is Obama bowing before? Has he sent arms shipments to enemies and mass murderers like was done under the Reagan administration?

Moreover, what high crimes or misdemeanours is Obama guilty of which merits impeachment proceedings? What laws has he violated?

Just because a man's policies are strongly disagreeable to you does not mean that he is impeachable.
However, I'm sure Joe Biden appreciates your endorsement of his potential presidency.

Posted by: j762 | February 22, 2011 4:57 PM | Report abuse

"How does the Free World benefit from all this? Egypt went to the Brotherhood which is Alquieda itself. Other Arab countries are also going the same way. Of what use is it to have Irans everywhere?

Posted by: rsajan "

It warms my heart to know that the President's advisers are infinitely more informed and enlightened than you are.

Posted by: j762 | February 22, 2011 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Where does the Washington Post find all of the idiots who spew out these ridiculous opinion pieces?

Posted by: dnjake | February 22, 2011 5:04 PM | Report abuse

The first priority in all cases is to do no harm. The power of the US makes it very likely we will do harm with ANY overt action. Understanding this fact results in the appearance of extreme caution where there is only careful reasoning.

Posted by: kengelhart | February 22, 2011 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Ah, come on!

Obama has other so many important priorities on his plate... the (s)election of Rahm Bomb in Chicago, the Oscar picks for Sunday, planning the vacation in August ... inquiring minds wanna know is it gonna be Venice or St. Tropez!?

Give the Barry a break!

Posted by: adamnescot1 | February 22, 2011 5:05 PM | Report abuse

"By being soft, they can come back after the protests are over and say that the president and Clinton spoke out against Gaddafi. You know, like with Egypt?
I believe during the presidential elections it was well known that Obama did not have a good foreign relations back ground. Not that I voted for him, but what do you expect? He cannot be forceful so he and his staff waffle and spout rhetoric until the situation resolves itself or until his hand is forced.
Posted by: hebe1"

Do you happen to believe that Sarah Palin's foreign policy 'wisdom' is more expansive or more informed?

Posted by: j762 | February 22, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

What exactly does anyone want the Obama administration to do? JKK1943 has it just about right; no amount of condemnation will change Qaddafi's mind. Or do you think he is suddenly going to think, "wow, the U.S. wants me to stop killing my people and step down, well I better do it or Uncle Sam is going to get me."

Unless we are willing to put boots on the ground, risk American lives, and spend billions more, our words mean nothing.

Ultimately, it is up to the people of Libya (and the world) to rid themselves of dictators. Remember Iraq and Afghanistan? How long have we been there; how many Americans have died, been blown to pieces, and are going to come back traumatized; and how much have we spent to rid those two countries of their tyrants?

Finally, I am sure Qaddafi would love to have Obama call for his removal. What better way to galvanize his supporters around his flag!

Posted by: democratization | February 22, 2011 5:08 PM | Report abuse

"Where does the Washington Post find all of the idiots who spew out these ridiculous opinion pieces?

Posted by: dnjake "

Because refusing to give a forum to reasonable yet disagreeable opinions is poor journalistic ethics

Posted by: j762 | February 22, 2011 5:08 PM | Report abuse

The silence is deafening. We have 4 Americans killed by pirates, a major disaster in New Zealand, Iranian warships going through the Suez canal, and of course Libya falling apart while oil skyrockets. Where is our leader?

Posted by: AlvinYork | February 22, 2011 5:13 PM | Report abuse

The silence is deafening. We have 4 Americans killed by pirates, a major disaster in New Zealand, Iranian warships going through the Suez canal, and of course Libya falling apart while oil skyrockets. Where is our leader?

Posted by: AlvinYork | February 22, 2011 5:14 PM | Report abuse

"The silence is deafening. We have 4 Americans killed by pirates, a major disaster in New Zealand, Iranian warships going through the Suez canal, and of course Libya falling apart while oil skyrockets. Where is our leader?

Posted by: AlvinYork "

I agree. He really needs to get with the magic wand waving in order to take control of lawless seas, force another country to stop lawfully deploying its forces in international waterways, halt common natural occurrences in a highly industrialised country which is accustomed to dealing with such occurrences, bombastically spew empty rhetoric to scold a hostile dictator, and use government intervention to control the price of a commodity as determined on an international free market.

Posted by: j762 | February 22, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Where does the Washington Post find all of the idiots who spew out these ridiculous opinion pieces?

Posted by: dnjake | February 22, 2011 5:04 PM
------------

Excellent point- my thoughts exactly. I don't know where Diehl has been these last 25 years, but out of spite, Gaddafi generally does exactly the OPPOSITE whatever the US says, whether or not it's in his best interests.

The neo-cons notion that the US has influence over any country is misinformed. It's precisely why our troops are over-extended fighting two wars, and why are deficits continues to balloon by the day.

What these blind neo-cons don't realize is the basic facts. We cannot cut the deficits they have been hollering about and continue to play police to the world. Can't have it both ways- it costs money to engage in conflicts. Are you really willing to pay more taxes to stick your nose in Libya's business?

Posted by: mm14 | February 22, 2011 5:23 PM | Report abuse

"The silence is deafening. We have 4 Americans killed by pirates, a major disaster in New Zealand, Iranian warships going through the Suez canal, and of course Libya falling apart while oil skyrockets. Where is our leader?

Posted by: AlvinYork "

I agree. He really needs to get with the magic wand waving in order to take control of lawless seas, force another country to stop lawfully deploying its forces in international waterways, halt common natural occurrences in a highly industrialised country which is accustomed to dealing with such occurrences, bombastically spew empty rhetoric to scold a hostile dictator, and use government intervention to control the price of a commodity as determined on an international free market.

Posted by: j762 | February 22, 2011 5:18 PM

------

LOL well said, j762. Well the piracy is happening in the Red Sea - I guess the Repubs expect Obama to part the seas and walk on water. Anything less and they will seek to discredit and delegitimize him by any possible scare tactic.

Posted by: mm14 | February 22, 2011 5:32 PM | Report abuse

You can always count on Kaddafi to take Western hostages.

BREAKING: VOA says America can't get our diplomats out
http://www.voanews.com/english/news/Foreign-Countries-Send-Planes-Ships-to-Libya-to-Evacuate-Foreigners-116668079.html

The Kaddafi clan are quite frank about their whole extortion racket. You imprison one of our terrorists? OK, we prison rape and torture your nurses until you pay us and release our terrorist.

It’s really that simple. Here's the suave western son, Saif...
=====
The Politics of Blackmail
http://www.newsweek.com/2007/07/31/the-politics-of-blackmail.html

“Blackmail? Maybe,” he says, considering the word. “It is blackmail, but the Europeans also blackmailed us. Yeah, it’s an immoral game by the way, but—I mean they set the rules of the game, the Europeans, and now they are paying the price.” They, and the Americans, too, for that matter, are merely serving their own political and economic interests, as far as Saif al-Islam is concerned. While the medics suffered, governments and multinationals were cutting deals. French President Nicolas Sarkozy even finagled an image-enhancing jaunt for his whimsical wife, Cécilia, as ostensible liberator of the prisoners. “She is the last person to come interfere in that issue and she is the person who took the medics with her back home,” said Saif al-Islam. “She’s very lucky. Lots of people tried in the past and they failed.” The reason: “The French [understood] the requirements and they were very flexible.”
=====
If you’re not severely nauseated or infuriated by all this, then you’re not paying attention.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 22, 2011 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Come on Action Jackson, include some good options for the president. Your next article should be: "If President Obama did the following I would quit my carping."

The American public has no desire to send their children and treasure to help the Libyans get rid of Gaddafi.

Posted by: DatMel | February 22, 2011 5:34 PM | Report abuse

He's a muslim, and so is Obama. He has to be very careful..

Posted by: wewintheylose1 | February 22, 2011 5:40 PM | Report abuse

"He's a muslim, and so is Obama. He has to be very careful.."

Posted by: wewintheylose1

So, coincidentally, are the people being murdered on the streets of Tripoli. So are the people who took to the streets in Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Iran, and across the Middle East. That doesn't make them love freedom any less.

You, sir, are misinformed, a bigot and a fool.

Posted by: j762 | February 22, 2011 5:44 PM | Report abuse

good article. he is truly pathetic; and so are our 'warriors' . The degree of corruption of our plutocracies is becoming transparen t. even the most retarded politician would now seize the chance, send a few f-16 and make him a martyr. And the world would applaud. How low mr. obama has to sink?... and the europeans silent to keep tgetting their 10% of oil at under market price... What the libyans are doing is heroic. Those are not mullahs, they are normal women and men, university people, profession als, workers. All what is needed is to bomb the palace of that lunatic, his tv stations and their chicken army who couldnt even defeat the Chadians will surrender. Do human life has any value to anyone in power today? How are you going to make 'us' believe that the billions we spend in Afghanistan and Irak is to get 'democracies' when you could do that for Lybia with a single strike. Shame on you political clowns. Tal para cual
www.economicstruth.com

Posted by: luisancho | February 22, 2011 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Do I expect Obama to fix everything? no, of course not. But the leader of the free world should at least speak on these occasions. But he doesn't speak because he doesn't have a clue what to say, just like some of you.

Posted by: AlvinYork | February 22, 2011 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Moammar Gaddafi is a geek masquerading as a politician. Actually, he's an engineer.

Posted by: godismyshadow | February 22, 2011 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Diehl is trying to create an opinion about all of this... First of all he's bending the truth... "probably thousands" are dying? The latest number is 200, then 67, not that its not important, 1 is important, but its not even close to the 1000s you are lying to imply.

Plus, the Libyans sacrifice is working. Members of the armed services are defecting to the opposition, bombers are landing their planes in other countries, dimplomats are joining the protesters, denouncing the dictator and resigning. Heck, a Muslim cleric as issued a Fatwa, I guess something of a contract on this man's life. It looks to me like these people are handling their own business.

The last thing these people want is some White man like your or the U.S. (or any other western nation) to come in and try to save them. Plus, haven't we learned ANYTHING from Iraq and Afghanistan?

Obama is NOT soft to LET THE PEOPLE decide their fate. Maybe Obama has learned from our past foot in mouth speeches? How much did we borrow to fund those wars the last time we talked up a check we had to cash? How much has the Cheney led Haliburton made from these ventures? We don't need to get into any more of these countries' business with a lot of loud talk that will paint us into a corner to have to back up... so be soft, let's get the heck out of debt, stop borrowing from our own future to aid other countries and fight wars for a people who need to free themselves and don't want our help.

I'll tell you what you do though... since you opened your big mouth why don't YOU back it up... stop lying in your column, grow a pair like that CNN correspondant did, cross the border into Libya and get your facts straight, then come back and suggest to the President what he should do... how about that?

Posted by: crtjr | February 22, 2011 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Is Diehl an AIPAC shill?

Posted by: areyousaying | February 22, 2011 6:02 PM | Report abuse

"Now, as always, the safety and wellbeing of Israel has to be our highest priority,"

Posted by: areyousaying | February 22, 2011 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Where does the Washington Post find all of the idiots who spew out these ridiculous opinion pieces?

Posted by: dnjake

Hiatt's Home for Has-Been Speechwrites for George the Dumber and AIPAC Hacks.

Posted by: areyousaying | February 22, 2011 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Well it's hard to sound moral when you have just bombed Iraq and Afghanistan into democracy, and allow your best bud Israel to keep 1.5 million people in an open air prison.
The people in the middle east are doing just fine without our help.

Posted by: JillCalifornia | February 22, 2011 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Obama could thump his chest, tell Gaddafi that he's tired of pussy-footin' around and that he has 24 hours to step down and then invade Libya and seize the oil fields. Then he could could hand over the country to an American-backed strong man. It would cost Billions we don't have, create another generation of American-hating young North Africans and allow all of North Africa to unify against American aggression and interference.

Or he can let the people of North Africa and Arabia dispose of their dictators (both American friends and foes) themselves and start their long slow walk to self-imposed freedom and democracy.

These peaceful revolutions are destroying the model of militant violence and Jihad offered by Al Qi'ada. So far, peaceful protest has been much more successful than suicide bombs.

Posted by: thebobbob | February 22, 2011 6:20 PM | Report abuse

>>The last thing these people want is some White man like your or the U.S. (or any other western nation) to come in and try to save them. Plus, haven't we learned ANYTHING from Iraq and Afghanistan?

Obama is NOT soft to LET THE PEOPLE decide their fate. Maybe Obama has learned from our past foot in mouth speeches?<<<

Everything crtj said above is exactly correct. What kind of idiot still thinks us butting in more strongly than we already have would be helpful?

Posted by: blipper | February 22, 2011 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Qaddafi is about to fall. If America sticks its nose in Libya it will give Qaddafi more time to rally his troops to his side and prolong this mess.

Posted by: xdougwhite | February 22, 2011 6:21 PM | Report abuse

"UPDATE: Clinton said later Tuesday that the safety of U.S. citizens in Libya, including embassy employees awaiting evacuation, is the "highest priority" for the Obama administration--which, as I suggested above, may explain the mild rhetoric so far."
***********************

Duh. How do warmongering blowhards like Diehl get jobs at respectable news outfits like the WaPo is supposed to be?

Guess I answered my own question.

Posted by: abqcleve | February 22, 2011 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Is Obama soft? Hell, look at that wildebeest he married. If that doesn't answer your question nothing will..

Posted by: wewintheylose1 | February 22, 2011 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Let me see if I can make some of you understand. People are dying. Libya is using helicopters and planes to bomb and strafe their own people. We have a Navy and an Air Force. The Libyan UN Ambassador has urged a no fly zone to save lives. Meanwhile, we are "expressing grave concern" and "coordinating responses with our internatianol allies". How about we shoot some damn Libyan planes down and save some lives?

Posted by: AlvinYork | February 22, 2011 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Wow, does the left-of-center washpo truly wants to bring up "morality and common sense" of leftist American administrations in regards to ME regimes??? wahspo should tread lightly. Rivers upon rivers of red blood is staining that legacy. For thirty-two years the leftist American regimes' "moral holiness" has perked up exclusively in toppling secular, progressive, pro-western, Middle Eastern governments. When it happens to be murderous, bloodthirsty, thugocracies, and especially if they are virulent anti-US, fundamentalist, islamist, terrorist, regimes . . . well, then, right before our gaping eyes, the crimes against humanity turns into "an issue between the government...and the people" where the murderous thugs are irksomely INVITED to "respond to the aspiration of the people" -- and just go away, pretty please!!!

Posted by: pouran-doukht | February 22, 2011 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Diehl is simply a propagandist for the right. He has no concern for the Libyan people; but he sees and grabs at any opportunity to attack Obama. Do you want an invasion of Libya, Mr. Diehl? Ever heard of diplomacy?

Posted by: turningfool | February 22, 2011 6:48 PM | Report abuse


Diehl wants US tropps in Libya.

It's close to Iran. Think what the stinking Israelis might try to pull if
US armaments were nearby. All the neocons have put out a similar funny phony plea today.

Meantime, isn't your heard just broken by the sweetness of Diehl wanting help for the Arabs?

Posted by: whistling | February 22, 2011 7:08 PM | Report abuse

I do not know where you obtained your doctorate or what it is in (perhaps you are Elmer Fudd and are called doc by Bugs Bunny), but considering that you have no opinion about the Libya situation and just f*rt out insults whenever and wherever you can, my guess is you probably obtained your title from Glenn Beck U and it's a doctorate in sc&mbag politics.

Jackson Diehl has referred to Reagan's referring to Gaddafi as a "mad dog" "25 years ago".

First, Jackson, 25 years ago it was 1986 and between that time and the current tense, we had a few presidents. Take GW Bush for instance, who, in 2008 called Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi to voice satisfaction with him for a US-Libya deal that involved alot of money to compensate victims of terrorism.

Rights groups protested that Gaddafi's reign has been marked by human rights abuses and restrictions on freedom of expression. Bush ignored them.

Jackson, are you Rip van Winkel? Were you asleep in 2008?

Evidently most Republicans were since they have absolutely no recollection and think President Obama is their janitor.


Posted by: jakrdy | February 22, 2011 7:13 PM | Report abuse

"docwhocuts" your learned opinion on Gadaffi and Libya was SO enlightening that Glenn Beck cried.

Posted by: jakrdy | February 22, 2011 7:16 PM | Report abuse

He wept tears of civic pride, like a father, docwhocuts. It made everyone get up and salute the flag, it was so fartwarming.

Posted by: jakrdy | February 22, 2011 7:18 PM | Report abuse

The article should have been entitled "Is Obama Soft?" If Iran nuked Israel tomorrow morning, Obama would give a speech to the UN and that would be about it.

Posted by: Dodgers1 | February 22, 2011 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Only a right-wing neo-con nutjob would want this country to get involved in what is happening in Libya. The people of Libya will take care of Kadaffi. That's their job. The people of Iraq would have taken care of Saddam Hussein - eventually - if we had stayed out of that mess.

Posted by: gposner | February 22, 2011 7:18 PM | Report abuse

No, the Obama Administration isn't soft. They are in fact ruthless in their protection of Wall Street's criminal syndicate. This is all about oil and other commodity prices, profits for the same scum that wrecked our economy and the economies of much of the West. This White House, which has demonstrated a callous disregard for the plight of unemployed American's, wont do anything that might upset the greed driven Free Trade apple cart of their Wall Street buddies.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | February 22, 2011 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Let's also not forget that GW Bush can't set foot in Geneva Switzerland because he'd been indicted for war crimes.

Posted by: jakrdy | February 22, 2011 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Let me see if I can make some of you understand. People are dying. Libya is using helicopters and planes to bomb and strafe their own people. We have a Navy and an Air Force. The Libyan UN Ambassador has urged a no fly zone to save lives. Meanwhile, we are "expressing grave concern" and "coordinating responses with our internatianol allies". How about we shoot some damn Libyan planes down and save some lives?

Posted by: AlvinYork | February 22, 2011 6:36 PM
---------------

You have not thought this one through. The US has looked the other way in past atrocities: Sudan (which borders Libya), Rwanda to name a few. Do we start paying attention today- why?

Wake up - the military intervention is the easy part. The nation-building is hard...ahem, look at our 'success' in Iraq. If you think Iraq is a quagmire, wait until you see what happens in Libya when the power vacuum opens.

Posted by: mm14 | February 22, 2011 7:23 PM | Report abuse

gposner - I keep reading and re-reading your post and it makes me seethe with anger! The helicopters, the C130 gun ships, the machine guns mounted on armored vehicles used by Gaddafi? They are US made and were sold to Libya on Obama's watch! The jet's are French Mirage and the ammunition is a mix of American and European supplied. And, did you know that there are shipments of munitions underway RIGHT NOW from the US and Europe to Giddafi's henchmen. We *ARE* involved and so is your idiot President. Oh, the Neocon's are nitwits, crooks, and scoundrals, only an idiot doesn't see that, but Obama and his crowd, the entire Democrat establishment is no different and no better.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | February 22, 2011 7:26 PM | Report abuse

All you right-wing John Birch Society lunatics couldn't care any less when Bush was in office, not only about what Gadaffi was doing but about the waterboarding and breaking the Geneva Convention. We has a president (vice president, really) who ran this country into the ground not only financially but in addition he has a warrant out against him - he can't set foot in Switzerland because he's been indicted for war crimes - crimes against humanity.

I'm so sick of you stupid Republican inept jerks who regurgitate the drivel you hear on a station that refers to itself as a news channel but has absolutely no legitimacy as one.

Take your rhetoric and crawl back under your rock with it.

And, yes, I mean you as well, "DocWhoCuts" - yes, you cut out intellect, the truth, and progress. What else is new with you hacks.

Posted by: jakrdy | February 22, 2011 7:29 PM | Report abuse


This third class WaPO writer, Diehl, has NO IDEA what's going on


As far as sitting in the daily DOS briefing, (are they still at lla.m.?) it's usually full of the dumbest of the dumb..., like Diehl mouthing off, asking whatever questions his Israeli masters have insisted be brought up...

while the big boy and girl reporters are already writing their stuff.

Posted by: whistling | February 22, 2011 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Jackson Diehl, sycophant of GW Bush - how he gushed about Bush's agenda. Every other president is incoherent in Diehl's eyes, well, except Reagan - WHO ACTUALLY WAS INCOHERENT IN HIS SECOND TERM.

Posted by: jakrdy | February 22, 2011 7:33 PM | Report abuse

In a word: Yes!

Jimmy Carter soft.
In fact, this skinny dude makes
Jimmy look like a bulldog foaming
at the mouth.

S D Rodrian
http://sdrodrian.com

.

Posted by: sdr1 | February 22, 2011 7:34 PM | Report abuse

gposner - I keep reading and re-reading your post and it makes me seethe with anger!

Posted by: mibrooks27 | February 22, 2011 7:26 PM
-------------------------

Well, keep seething. The US cannot afford to be police to the world. The US president does what is in the US' best interest. Right now, our interest is not to get involved in another quagmire- we have our hands more than full fixing GW's screwups in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Posted by: mm14 | February 22, 2011 7:35 PM | Report abuse

I MEANT SECOND PART OF HIS TERM. THANK GOD HE LEFT OFFICE IN 1989 - BOTH HE AND BUSH SR.SHOULD HAVE GONE TO JAIL.

RENT BOOGIE MAN: THE LEE ATWATER STORY.

Posted by: jakrdy | February 22, 2011 7:36 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me that this is not 'being soft' but a policy of denying Gaddafi an opportunity to use anti-American rhetoric. Arabs hate being patronised by America, and anything America says or does can easily be distorted by a dictator. This policy of not saying more than is needed is intelligent.

Posted by: silascoker | February 22, 2011 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Some commentators here have argued that there's not much the US can do in the cases of Libya and Iran. Has everyone forgotten what happened in 1953 in Iran, when a newly-elected PM, Mohammad Mosaddeq, was toppled in days by a CIA/MI6 coup which brought the Shah back to power. Much the same happened in 1954 in Guatemala. I don't recommend either action, since they both had bad consequences, but they do show that covert action and sometimes war can produce results. In this case, what's to stop Navy Seals and others going in to take control of Gadhafi's palace and arrest or kill him? If it saves lives and gives democracy a chance, wouldn't that be the American thing to do? If I had been an American, I would have voted for Obama, but the more I have seen of his foreign policy (especially regarding the Middle East and Israel), the more horrified I have become. Does he believe in anything?

Posted by: maceoin | February 22, 2011 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Some commentators here have argued that there's not much the US can do in the cases of Libya and Iran. Has everyone forgotten what happened in 1953 in Iran, when a newly-elected PM, Mohammad Mosaddeq, was toppled in days by a CIA/MI6 coup which brought the Shah back to power. Much the same happened in 1954 in Guatemala. I don't recommend either action, since they both had bad consequences, but they do show that covert action and sometimes war can produce results. In this case, what's to stop Navy Seals and others going in to take control of Gadhafi's palace and arrest or kill him? Posted by: maceoin | February 22, 2011 8:10 PM

-----------------

Yet another 'genius' solution from the Monday-morning quarterbacks. By definition, one does not BROADCAST covert actions to the media. Also a good idea not to make covert actions appear too OBVIOUS...makes the plausible deniability kinda tough. Finally, US policy is not to assassinate foreign leaders-- also a little technical wrinkle in your argument.

You see, real governing is actually difficult. One must think before one writes, lest your policies FAIL the GIGGLE TEST.

Posted by: mm14 | February 22, 2011 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Obama is such a cowardly wimp. I'm ashamed I voted for him.

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | February 22, 2011 8:34 PM | Report abuse

It's not our problem. I remember when we were "friends" of Iraq against Iran; see how that worked for us. Remember Iraq - we should not mettle in ANY country's political problems.

Posted by: rlj611 | February 22, 2011 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Hey Jackson; you're kidding me right? Mr. Hiatt, you've really got to start checking this guy's work.

Bush/Cheney embraced Qadaffi when he preemptively surrendered his broken and foundering chemical and nuclear programs in order to stay in power and lay the groundwork for his son's succession. In order to stem the international criticism and ridicule of the USG's invasion of Iraq, Bush/Cheney pointed to Qadaffi as proof of their success. Bush even called him "courageous" from the White House podiumn (how pathetic is that). Condi Rice was equally effusive. Qadaffi, arguably the most active terrorist of the modern age (Pan Am 103 among other acts) flourished under Bush/Cheney's "war on terror" and has been laughing at the neocons ever since.

And you launch a shot at Obama over Libya? Really? Don't you think a correction or retraction might be in order? I mean, given the Bush/Cheney history, wouldn't that be the right thing to do? Come on Fred Hiatt, jump in here.

Posted by: DCsandiego | February 22, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

.Isn't surely the responsibility of the United States to stand up against thousands of people killed?

----------------------------------------

Not really, considering the fact that Bush/Cheney are free...

Posted by: theFieldMarshall | February 22, 2011 8:59 PM | Report abuse

You want Obama to pretend he has control over situation that he has no influence over. Sorry Diehl, President Barack Obama is no drama queen - he is no phony like most of the people you advocate for. He is cool collected and analytical. As he should be in this situation.

Posted by: Obamarama1 | February 22, 2011 9:01 PM | Report abuse

j762 asked what thugs has Obama bowed before. Lets start with the Saudi Princes, the leaders of China that butchered protestors in Tianamen Square. He even bowed before the mayor of Tampa Florida, although she is not a thug but a wonderful mayor. Obama is also waffling as Somali Pirates butcher our citizen and an emboldened Iran sends warships into the Mediteranean for the first time since 1979. Hillary was right, Obama is not the guy you want answering the red phone at 3am. The man is a street lawyer cum community organizer. He voted "present" for every tough vote in Ilinois Senate, and seems unwilling or unable to make tough decisions to tame our budget deficit.

Posted by: jkk1943 | February 22, 2011 9:35 PM | Report abuse


The world is full of bad guys doing bad things. It's always been that way and always will be.

Taking out every bad guy that pops up is like punching a tar baby. The harder we hit it the bigger the mess and the harder it is to extract ourselves.

Like the man once said, if we break it we own it. And the cost of ownership these days is in the trillions.

Posted by: JJORourke | February 22, 2011 10:06 PM | Report abuse

"Dictator Moammar Gaddafi, aptly labeled a 'mad dog' by Ronald Reagan 25 years ago," That was about the same time Reagan sent Rumsfeld to kiss and make up with Saddam Hussein, so we can't use Reagan's judgement to measure anything. The US predicament in Libya is a Reagan/Pappy Bush creation, another dog poop left on the stoop of the White House by 16 years of incompetent Republican rule.

Posted by: tianyisun | February 22, 2011 10:25 PM | Report abuse

although i believe obama to be talentless,other than public speaking, an ameoba , there isn't a leader in american history who could make other than sounds with his mouth ,


-------------------------

Dubya. How quickly you forgot (or swept him under the carpet)

Posted by: theFieldMarshall | February 22, 2011 10:41 PM | Report abuse

"Only a right-wing neo-con nutjob would want this country to get involved in what is happening in Libya."

On the plus side for Ghaddafi, there'll be fewer Muzzies when he's done and the one's that are left will be pissed at other Muzzies. I'm not sure Obama regards that as as a "plus" but he isn't offering serious interference. (Ever notice that when Muzzies kill other Muzzies they don't get as upset as when we do it for them?)

Posted by: waltonr1 | February 22, 2011 10:50 PM | Report abuse

What a scurrilous piece of non-journalism! How low can you go? What is wrong with this guy Diehl?

Posted by: redant | February 22, 2011 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Oh, yeah. Go bomb 'em. Heck, it's not the Libyan Revolution; it's ours. Let's have another Iraq, that would make sense to a Neo-con like Diehl. NATO could deny fly-space if Gaddafi continues to use planes, but so far the President has done pretty well by letting countries determine their own rebirth...unlike the guy Diehl liked in 2000.

Posted by: Eugene6 | February 22, 2011 11:04 PM | Report abuse

What a crock of bullshit some leftist is spewing that Bush cannot go to Switzerland. That is complete BS. Barry the incompetent boob has his toadies still talking about W? Hilariousm

Posted by: screwjob23 | February 22, 2011 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Gaddafi is a Madman, an obvious drug addict.
He couldn't care less who dies for him to maintain his hegemony.
He believes Libya is HIS, personal-country.
He would like to believe that he is a god.
Someone close to him must bring home to him his mortality.

Posted by: Arjuna1 | February 22, 2011 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Jackson,

This really is a crock from beginning to end.
If Obama could have kept Mubarak, he surely would have. He couldn't but did the next best thing. He waited until he could surround the Suez Canal with troops on the ground, in the water and in the air.

When all was secure and Mubarak had lost, he suggested the Thug depart, the better to turn over Suez Egypt to the very generals who came up with Mubakak, Sadat, and Nasser in 1952, 1953.

Suez safe. Go Team.

As for Gadaffi, Obama has been trying to "rehabilitate" Lybia and strengthen our relations with Gadaffi, has praised him for his "reforms."

The One, as the Republicans aptly dubbed him, is an anticipated disappointment to this Democrat. However, I cannot imagine a competent, moral person ever inhabiting the White House. It's a rental, owned by Internationl Oil Christo-Islam inc.

Posted by: Farnaz2Mansouri21 | February 22, 2011 11:30 PM | Report abuse

"j762 asked what thugs has Obama bowed before. Lets start with the Saudi Princes, the leaders of China that butchered protestors in Tianamen Square. He even bowed before the mayor of Tampa Florida, although she is not a thug but a wonderful mayor. Obama is also waffling as Somali Pirates butcher our citizen and an emboldened Iran sends warships into the Mediteranean for the first time since 1979. Hillary was right, Obama is not the guy you want answering the red phone at 3am. The man is a street lawyer cum community organizer. He voted "present" for every tough vote in Ilinois Senate, and seems unwilling or unable to "

I'll refer you to my previous post:

He really needs to get with the magic wand waving in order to take control of lawless seas, force another country to stop lawfully deploying its forces in international waterways, halt common natural occurrences in a highly industrialised country which is accustomed to dealing with such occurrences, bombastically spew empty rhetoric to scold a hostile dictator, and use government intervention to control the price of a commodity as determined on an international free market.

So we shouldn't speak with the leaders of the second largest economy in the world?

Posted by: j762 | February 22, 2011 11:35 PM | Report abuse

"j762 asked what thugs has Obama bowed before. Lets start with the Saudi Princes, the leaders of China that butchered protestors in Tianamen Square. He even bowed before the mayor of Tampa Florida, although she is not a thug but a wonderful mayor. Obama is also waffling as Somali Pirates butcher our citizen and an emboldened Iran sends warships into the Mediteranean for the first time since 1979. Hillary was right, Obama is not the guy you want answering the red phone at 3am. The man is a street lawyer cum community organizer. He voted "present" for every tough vote in Ilinois Senate, and seems unwilling or unable to "

I'll refer you to my previous post:

He really needs to get with the magic wand waving in order to take control of lawless seas, force another country to stop lawfully deploying its forces in international waterways, halt common natural occurrences in a highly industrialised country which is accustomed to dealing with such occurrences, bombastically spew empty rhetoric to scold a hostile dictator, and use government intervention to control the price of a commodity as determined on an international free market.

So we shouldn't speak with the leaders of the second largest economy in the world?

Posted by: j762 | February 22, 2011 11:36 PM | Report abuse

I would have thought it was obvious why the White House is emphasizing the multilateral approach through the Security Council. Only someone completely ignorant of the hatred the Arab street has for Americans would urge Obama to take a stick to Gaddafi. Gaddafi is praying for America to get tough with him so he can marshall his dwindling support around opposition to the American Imperialist blah, blah, blah. Gaddafi knows 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend'. Obama won't walk into that trap.

Posted by: Freakinajay | February 23, 2011 12:15 AM | Report abuse

You 'hawks' didn't learn ANYthing from Lockerbie, didja.

Posted by: Darr247 | February 23, 2011 12:32 AM | Report abuse

My guess is that the current democratizing of the Middle East is CIA inspired venture. The self emulsification of the street vendor in Tripoli was simply the spark that set off a well planned strategic gamble. I would go further, and say that the brain behind this incredible stroke of genius was no lees than the President of the United States, Barrack Obama. It was he who requested the CIA provide him with an overview of the Middle East situation and received a report that the region was run by despots many with direct aid from the US (Egypt) or Big Oil (Libya) The report suggested this status qou served to antagonize their populations against the US and breed terrorists. In short a loosing battle that would drain US coffers and perpetuate a terrorist threat to Americans

I find it amusing to hear all the talk about the President playing catch-up when in fact he is playing both the domestic and international audiences like a maestro. Have you seen any effigy's of Uncle Sam burning at any of these protest rallies, or any major elected officials criticizing him? (I discount America's home grown Gadaffi - Sahara Pallin).

We are witnessing a turning point in History as monumental as the tearing down of the Berlin Wall. The outcome of these peaceful revolutions will ultimately pave the way for a stable middle east. Further, a peace treaty between Israel and Palestine will ensue (perhaps to neither sides liking, but nonetheless one which will be enforced by the UN with the support of the US). Most importantly it will begin the defanging and eventual elimination of Arab based terrorists and the dissolution of the Islamic state in Iran.

It speaks volumes about the American system when every now and then it produces leaders like Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Obama.

Posted by: givemeair | February 23, 2011 12:41 AM | Report abuse

For those who play politics with this, there are Americans who have to be evacuated from the country, and the Obama's administration's first duty is to safeguard the safety of American citizens.

In America's 24 hour news cycle culture, everything has to play out in under a day, then we forget about it. That's not how life works, and that's not how adults govern.

And why is every question phrased as whether America is "soft" rather than whether America is "smart"?

Posted by: dmblum | February 23, 2011 12:58 AM | Report abuse

when you say soft and gay, you can't be talking about Barak Hussein. He can't reconcile his muslim gay love with his hatred for America.

Posted by: carlbatey | February 23, 2011 1:24 AM | Report abuse

Diehl is a beltway creature who is simply setting the table for his post-Post employment with some right-wing security think tank or consulting firm with this kind of anti-Obama hysteria.

For heaven's sakes, hasn't Diehl learned a blessed thing from his bellyflop on Egypt, where Obama's approach, which Diehl whined similarly about, turned out to be exactly right? Or forget Obama has handled Bahrain extremely well so far, and helped stop the violence there?

Apparently not, so let's spell it out for Diehl yet again: If America is seen pushing for Quaddafi's ouster, all it does it give him the grounds to claim the resistance are tools of foreign powers and convince the military and others to stick with him. Keeping a smart distance, while cheering on freedom's basic principles and the bravery of the resistance is a calibrated, smart and just the right approach. And we back too many other autocratic regimes to start pounding table for leaders to leave at our behest.

Let's not forget, Diehl is a Neocon, so charging in like bulls in a souk is part and parcel of his mindset. The best thing to do is to give our full support to freedom, applaud those taking on the regimes, and absolutely not jump in and start gesticulating hyperventilating. Diehl ignores what is said privately and strongly: stop the violence, and get out of the way. The Arab people know exactly where Obama stands, he said so loudly and clearly in Cairo in his speech there, and later. The people in Bahrain were cheering him.

Dielh's hysterical Washington-centric cries for "strong words and actions" are typically only of value in the beltway, and deeply harmful in practice. It's why we are lucky we did not elect McCain, who might have listened to to this neocon nonsense and done vast harm to this Arab movement with strong "action and morality" neocon-style.

Posted by: Baedeker | February 23, 2011 1:42 AM | Report abuse

Baedeker:
"The Arab people know exactly where Obama stands."
----------------------------
You bet they do.

They know when they see the hated Fifth Fleet still in place.

They know since they watched him try to strengthen US relations with Lybia.

They know since they heard him say a year and a half ago that we must adapt a "conciliatory stance" toward the Arab Butcher of Sudan.

They know since they have witnessed his hundreds of millions in arms sales to Saudi Arabia and his flying missions with same.

You say Diehl is a "neocon." And you are...?

Posted by: Farnaz2Mansouri21 | February 23, 2011 2:27 AM | Report abuse

all the dems are soft on dictators...
they are the cornerstone of liberalism...

Posted by: DwightCollins | February 23, 2011 7:19 AM | Report abuse

A bigger question is:

HAS THE VOICE OF FREEDOM IN THE WORLD GONE SILENT IN THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION?

It is totally astonishing that Obama is 'seeking approval from Libya to remove Americans from the country'! WHEN DID WE START GETTING APPROVAL FROM A TYRANT TO SAVE THE LIVES OF PEOPLE??

As each day goes by, Obama manages to set new depth records of a FAILED PRESIDENCY!

Posted by: wheeljc | February 23, 2011 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Gaddafi is a vile despot who, at one time, sought nuclear weapons. In 2003 he began to dismantle his nuclear weapons program, probably to avoid Saddam's fate. He remained a vile despot but because of his disarmament move he was rewarded by becoming OUR vile despot. To disown him now, in his hour of need, would be an act of disloyalty not unlike, (had they done so), the Taliban disowning Al Qaeda after they had become allies in opposing the Soviet occupation. The less that governments are dedicated strictly to the rule of law and democratic principles the more they rely on loyalty as a foundational value of statecraft.

Posted by: Adam_Smith | February 23, 2011 7:45 AM | Report abuse

For Pete's sake - look at this and past administrations when it comes to dealing with governments in Africa and the Middle East. Support dictators, autocrats, kings no matter what they do to their people. Give them money and military arms and equipment - train their military and police.

Who cared about the people of those countries? Two priorities for our government - OIL and the stability of the region in order to protect Israel. Then, when the people protested, our government dithered in its response in Egypt, not knowing which way to jump - for freedom and democracy or continue its support for an autocrat.

This is not new for our government - we didn't say a word - or only gave it a wink and a nod - about civil and human rights as long as we got what was good for us.

Posted by: Utahreb | February 23, 2011 7:52 AM | Report abuse

George W. Bush pardoned Qaddafi for murdering hundreds of Americans over Lockerbie in exchange for oil...and you folks at the Washington Post didn't even bother to report it. Bush and Cheney thank you for your service to the Republican Party.

Posted by: jjedif | February 23, 2011 7:59 AM | Report abuse

Obama OUGHT to have a carrier deck in the Gulf of Sidra off Libya with orders to suppress any anti-air over Tripoli and shoot down ANY Libyan fighters that lift off and head for the cities to attack protesters from the air? Why is Obama ALWAYS on the wrong side of every issue? Instead, we have three carriers in the Indian Ocean tailing a puny pair of Iranian tin cans going up the Suez. Stupid! Where's our 6th Fleet Mediterranean Sea carrier presence? Time to get one back in the Med permanently.

Posted by: JamesChristian | February 23, 2011 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Dear Mr Diehl, you never fail to deliver your anti-Obama laced messages. Obama is timid according to you? As someone else wrote, how is it that all the "he-man" republican presidents failed to solve this problem? Were not Reagan and Bush 41 confronted with terrorist acts that could have justified action? Of course you would have to reconcile that with W's embrace Gaddafi, as Rumsfeld tried to do yesterday. I am always amazed how situations left over from prior administrations are somehow worse under Obama. Gaddafi has been around since the Nixon Administration. There has been more than ample oppotunity to do something about him

If I am reading you and the rest of the right wing correctly, strong efforts by the people of the Middle East to overthrow repressive regimes should be derailed by American meddling? The entire foreign policy and intelligence assets of the U.S. does not know what they are doing, but an editorial writer and right wing pundits have the answers. Mr. Diehl, don't you find this hauntingly familiar to the current finacial debate in the country? To paraphrase the President, the people that drove the car in the ditch want the keys back. And as he answered "no". Let the people we elected and the professionals we employ do their jobs.

Posted by: concerned13 | February 23, 2011 8:02 AM | Report abuse

"Let's also not forget that GW Bush can't set foot in Geneva Switzerland because he'd been indicted for war crimes.
Posted by: jakrdy | February 22, 2011 7:23 PM | Report abuse "

lets not forget obama is just as guilty...

Posted by: DwightCollins | February 23, 2011 8:25 AM | Report abuse

Most Americans are so ignorant. But docwhocuts, now that Qaddafi is going down, you might want to write to thank Bush and Cheney for their support of Qaddafi.

"Not soft. pure incompetence. They're still reviewing the poll numbers since the last time obama demanded that someone leave power."

Posted by: jjedif | February 23, 2011 8:33 AM | Report abuse

BREAKING VIDEO: Gaddafi Regime Using Heavy Weapons on Protesters
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/

The Times newspaper said Wednesday it had footage of severely wounded and dead protesters in a Libyan hospital which proved that heavy weapons were being used to crush the uprising.

Shocking footage of corpses with bodies blasted off and patients with almost completely severed torsos provided “incontrovertible evidence” that heavy artillery was used, Martin Fletcher, the newspaper’s associate editor said.

“It’s not entirely clear how these men were killed, it could have been by fighter jets, it could have been by helicopter gunships, it could have been by mortar, it could have been by heavy machine guns,” Fletcher said.

“One thing is abundantly clear, they were not killed by tear gas or by batons or by methods of suppressing peaceful protests that are generally considered the outer limits of what is acceptable,” he added.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 23, 2011 8:41 AM | Report abuse

In order to ramp up the rhetoric you must have the stick. Idiots like Diehl will cheer, we got your back Georgia. Moving a carrier group offshore would allow stronger backing and end the air strikes against civilians with threat of losing that military asset.

Posted by: jameschirico | February 23, 2011 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Westerners can backbite and blame each other (Ford, Carter, Reagan/Bush41, Clinton, Bush43, Obama, Blair, Brown, Salmond, MacAskill and the entire UN) for letting this monster murder. But there is an appeasement pox on ALL our houses of government.

Munich Olympic Massacre
Constable Fletcher Murder
Rome/Vienna Airport Massacres
Berlin Discoteque Massacre
PA103 Massacre
UTA772 Massacre
IRA proxy massacres
EU Nurse Prison Sextortion
Swiss hostage extortion
Libyan civilian massacres

Castro (for once) has a point– 41.5 billion barrels of oil reserves appear to mean Kaddafi has richly earned yet another chance to massacre innocents.

Nemo me impune lacessit?

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | February 23, 2011 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Chest thumping, flag waving neanderthals cheer the loss of nat'l treasure and life against a non threat in Iraq and give the bear the excuse to claim the pipeline in Georgia. They back a losing it former hero McCain's position of bomb, bomb Iran, while former centcomm commander Adm. Fallon said, if and when they become a threat, we can crush them like an ant. Conservatives have been clueless on foreign policy since Baker and Bush41 (Baker got Iraq turned around when the Feith, Wolfie, Rummy, Bolton, dark knight, neocon cabal lost Dubya's ear, no longer fooled by I've got a mandate). Clinton has been the best sec'y since Baker doing a great job.

Posted by: jameschirico | February 23, 2011 9:02 AM | Report abuse

What a crock of bullshit some leftist is spewing that Bush cannot go to Switzerland. That is complete BS. Barry the incompetent boob has his toadies still talking about W? Hilariousm

Posted by: screwjob23
============================================
What an ignorant a comment, the Dark Knight has an arrest warrant in Spain.

Posted by: jameschirico | February 23, 2011 9:18 AM | Report abuse

The Obama Doctrine: "Be Hard on our friends and soft on our enemies".

Posted by: JohnGalt9 | February 23, 2011 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Let's say that Obama called for sanctions, or for a no-fly zone. What do you think would happen to the American Diplomats and their families in Libya? All 600 would be immediately arrested if not murdered outright. If that happened, everyone would Monday morning quarterback how Obama should have prevented it.
He is preventing it, by staying out of it and making the same remarks he made in Egypt (which did not need our intervention aside from a few phone calls)
Now, once we get our people safely out and he does nothing, we can question what he does after that-but at least wait til we get our people out.

Posted by: Bowedoak | February 23, 2011 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Bush was right. "The Bush Doctrine" is the only successful foreign policy initiative since Reagan's Berlin speech.
It is also a stumbling block for the Obama administration in a reverse queer way; and so they say, correctly at "The Bush Doctrine; the official foreign policy of the US" at http://robbingamerica.blogspot.com/2011/02/bush-doctrine-is-now-unmentionable.html

Posted by: JohnGalt9 | February 23, 2011 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Soft on Gaddifi ? Ya think ?

Ok so no US carriers nearby and we have potential hostages in Libya. Got that.

What about a dozen troop air transports ? loaded with Marines ? and flying out of nearby Malta with air cover from NATO, American or Israeli fighters ?

Maybe even use a few hundred Arabic-speaking Israelis - disguised as Arabs, in a quick strike and rescue ? Libya is a fraction of the distance from Israel that Entebbe, Uganda was.

Oh I forgot.. last week during the Arab world meltdown.. Secretary Clinton and UN Ambassador Rice launched a strident attack on…. Israeli settlements !! Arab autocrats smiled. Unbelievable.

Is this Obama's 3AM wake-up call ? and our man-child President can't find his pants ?

Appalling and frightening.

Posted by: pvilso24 | February 23, 2011 9:39 AM | Report abuse


Soooo

PVILSO24

wants ISRAELI fighters...PRETENDING TO BE to be Arabs... (so that's who the rapists in Egypt were! Many said so.)

to go into Libya (very near Iran) to "help get the Americans out"?

And maybe the Israslis sneak a little 'accident' acrosst he Iranian border...and start bombing Iran (pretending to be the US)?

1.Israelis better look to their own safety.
They haven't long to survive.

2. no one trusts Israelis. Certainly not the American military. And "helping" America? Those parasites? They use not help America

3. You show exactly why all the zionist columnists are yelling to invade Libya. Another war for Israel.


Posted by: whistling | February 23, 2011 10:19 AM | Report abuse

I find it hard that a political columnist for the Wash. Post can't grasp the subtle dynamics at play here. The US will do more harm then good if they interfere. I'm just a regular joe and I can see that. This is not about us. We have no influence there. Anything the Obama administration says is just feed for the U.S. masses. It does nothing to help the situation. It might actually hurt it.

Posted by: ALLOST | February 23, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Mr. D, you are nothing but a pessimistic piece of crap. For a reporter/columnist/yellow journalist (take your pick, although I believe you ar the latter), you sure dont seem to understand foreign policy very well. Get a clue...other countries dont like our leaders here in America telling them what to do, either for the good or the bad. The President is doing the absolute correct thing by generally minding as much of his own business as is possible. You may take note that these democracy demonstrations are going on in the middle east with no help from the US. If the President was stupid enough to listen to your apparent suggestion, he would be quickly branded as an interloper by everyone, including you. Most of the mideast countries would use anything he says to foster anti-American sentiments and or use his words for political cover in their own countries. You sure aren't very smart are you? The President has enough on his plate already addressing our own problems and I would think that you had more sense than to suggest that we create a problem, where there is none, at least right now.

Posted by: ruthella10 | February 23, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

whistling posts typical slanders/blood libels against Israelis.

His Jew-hatred is no excuse for his stupidity.

Israeli soldiers could be used because they are nearby, Arabic-speaking, trusted, and competent fighters. They could pull off a rescue. Recall Entebbe ?

Could we use Dutch ? who arrived in Bosnia armed only with pistols they handled over to Serbs when confronted. Perhaps the French ? Who were so terrified of Lebanese... they had to be shamed into sending 200 heavily-armed soldiers into a former french protectorate.

My preference is of course to use US Marines to rescue US citizens.

It seems more likely our man-child President will send John Kerry in a month or two to apologize and beg for their release.

Posted by: pvilso24 | February 23, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Oh I just love all these wanna be John Waynes on this site. Let's just go over there and butt in and force Gaddafi out! How completely and utterly stupid!

Posted by: ruthella10 | February 23, 2011 11:12 AM | Report abuse

The US position has been flaccid since 2003 when then POTUS George Walker Bush decided to undertake efforts to normalized US relations with the autocratic regime of Muammar al-Gaddafi.

Posted by: whocares666 | February 23, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Diehl, what do you want him to do? We can't and shouldn't control everything. Perhaps we should start another illegal war? Shut up. It's up to the
Libyians. Our record in the Middle East is enough to tell us to stay the hell out of it.

Posted by: jckdoors | February 23, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Is he soft on this clown? Why ask now? What about the past 40 years, Diehl?

Posted by: jckdoors | February 23, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

The only reason I can think of is that they are trying to evacuate US citizens, and until they know that their diplomats and civilians are out of harms way, Obama speaking publicly may make the US citizens more targeted as they try to leave. Chartered flights are not being allowed in, so many of them are having to escape by ferry boat today. We don't want to inflame the situation to the point that the mercenaries are going down to the ferry terminal and opening fire. I know he would speak out if he felt free to do so.

Posted by: buffalo7 | February 23, 2011 12:15 PM | Report abuse

ONLY ONE OPTION
Capture Gaddhafi and send him to Hague or Guntamo for face charges and punishment and then let the people of Libya decide about the Constitution, new election, freedom and democracy. Same option can be applied everywhere else including Bahrain and Saudi Arabia too.

Posted by: citysoilverizonnet | February 23, 2011 5:09 PM | Report abuse

The only reason I can think of is that they are trying to evacuate US citizens, and until they know that their diplomats and civilians are out of harms way, Obama speaking publicly may make the US citizens more targeted as they try to leave. Chartered flights are not being allowed in, so many of them are having to escape by ferry boat today. We don't want to inflame the situation to the point that the mercenaries are going down to the ferry terminal and opening fire. I know he would speak out if he felt free to do so.

Posted by: buffalo7 | February 23, 2011 12:15 PM
========
LOL wow.

I hate to break it to you but you know nothing about why Obama is not speaking out.

However your fawning post where you make up your own reasons says a lot about you.

Posted by: Cryos | February 24, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

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